They may have been dynamically better than the Fulvia but the build quality wasn't and the rate of attrition has been considerable, especially the early S1 and S2 pre face lift cars, trying to find a decent car is nigh on impossible even in Italy.
The first time I drove one of these was in 1988, a chap who lived locally heard of my interest in Lancias, he owned a 2000 Beta Coupe early S2 in Finlandia green with mustard yellow interior. (only the Italians could make that combination work!) He'd bought it new. I'd owned several Fulvias up to this point and thought they were the best thing since sliced bread. I'd also owned a few (for then) moderns a Golf GTI mk 1 with a GTI Engineering 135 pack and an MR2 amongst others. The Beta was a revelation, it would run rings around anything I'd previously driven, it could cover ground so rapidly and with so little effort. It was best on the limit where the others would get ragged and twitchy, the Beta can alive. It was reletivly quiet and very comfortable. Sadly the car died some 10 months after I bought it, the chimney came off a neighbours house in a storm and landed on it. I then bought a Mk2 GTi to replace it but that was so dull I bought another Beta Coupe a late series 2 car which is still in the garage.
This particular car is an early S2 It is a rust free car originally registered in Florence in 21/ 4/ 1977 in an unusual colour scheme of silver with green cloth. It still has a complete book pack including the service booklet. There are also a good few recipts totaling around €4000 for things like the cambelt, rear shock absorbers, gearlinkage bushes, gearbox oil changes ball joints wheel bearings brake work, rebuilt carburettor etc etc
Is completely rust free and original, all the factory spot welds are still visible in the wheel arches and sills and the jacking points are perfect.
Is in excellent and completely original condition carpets are as new, the seats are in good condition although the material is a little faded.
Engine gearbox and drive train.
The engine is in excellent condition, compressions all in the 180's it pulls very well with not a whiff of smoke.
The gearbox is also spot on the weak point here are the gear linkage bushes, all of which have been replaced on this car also the main engine mount and all the bushes and ball joints on the front wishbones.
The most underated car of all time?
I think so.
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